kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Skill Aquisition: I can now make really simple cheese!

In absolutely tiny quantity, because some milk was on the turn and I wanted to Cautiously Experiment, but I did indeed Boil Up The Milk then Add The Yoghurt then Set It Straining Through A Cheesecloth then Squash It and... ended up with actual plausible cheese!

Which I then put into spaetzle, because it was too small to do anything else with sensibly and wanted used rather than to just sit around being a curiosity. This is Austrian stodge, very lightly adapted from Gretel Beer's Classic Austrian Cookery, a copy of which was acquired me by my mother in 2007. The obligatory cookery-blog explanation of spaetzle goes, approximately, there was a stall selling them on the Oxford marketplace one lunchtime; I acquired a bowl in delight, because homefood; A eyed it suspiciously, then tried some, then inhaled approx half in exchange for approx half of whatever it was he'd bought. "... you know I can trivially make these, right?" I said. "I just need a plastic colander and some prompting." Ergo ABOUT A YEAR LATER here we are, with my having just made a batch of the stuff.

Spätzle
This quantity served three of us, as the principle component of the meal.

Ingredients
200g plain flour
salt
1 egg
1 medium onion
~200g grated cheese
butter

Method
Slice the onion up thinly and start frying it in butter. You can have it anywhere between goopy and crunchy as you prefer, but the longer it cooks the sweeter it will taste.

In theory, you should sift together the flour and the salt. In practice, I rarely bother. On a pastry board (or in a bowl, as you prefer) make a mound of said flour, make a depression in the middle of the mound, then break the egg into it. Whisk the egg with a fork, gradually incorporating flour. Then add water until you get to a smooth and somewhat runny paste.

Ideally you have a colander with large holes in it (I ended up with this one, which is also sold by Lakeland and Tesco and eBay and so on and so forth).

Having brought a pan of water to the boil, what you want to do is dollop your paste into the colander and smush it through the bigger of the holes with the back of a spoon - it should come through in drips, you can encourage it off with a sharp knife. (The reason you want a *plastic* colander is that if you have a metal one, the steam heats it up enough that the Spaetzle cook while extruding and just get stuck in the colander, which is nobody's idea of a good time. Absent a colander, you can also - according to Gretel Beer - scoop off tiny bits with a teaspoon, but they'll take longer to cook and I really do recommend the colander.)

The bits of noodle are small enough that, once they're floating, they're done. Skim them off with a slotted spoon, and either dump them into the frying pan along with the onion or into a pre-heated dish, layering them with grated cheese and melted butter to keep them moist. I tend to dump the first half into a heated dish and the second half into the frying pan, for the purposes of variation of texture.

Once all your Spaetzle are cooked, combine all of the cheese and onion and Spaetzle, mix together roughly, and serve.

Season according to taste; I think pepper and parsley is Correct.

This week we ate these with sweetcorn, but gulasch is tolerably trad as are a wide variety of other things, and it's completely legit to just treat them as comfort-food stodge, which is generally my approach.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-25 08:44 pm (UTC)
ratcreature: RatCreature enjoys food: yum! (food)
From: [personal profile] ratcreature
This is eye-opening! It never occurred to me that you could just use a colander. I always thought Spätzle required some sort of special wooden board and scraper equipment. So I never bothered to try making making any.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-25 08:58 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
This makes you the second friend to acquire cheese-making skills this week!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-25 11:53 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: Garrus, Mass Effect 2 (sick)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
'cryptokraut' made me think of a jar of secret sauerkraut before I realized what it was.
I needed that giggle. Thanks.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-25 11:57 pm (UTC)
ghoti: fish jumping out of bowl (Default)
From: [personal profile] ghoti
and here I thought spaetzle involved potatoes, akin to gnocchi.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-26 02:41 am (UTC)
buttonsbeadslace: drawing of a high-heeled boot (Default)
From: [personal profile] buttonsbeadslace
I assumed so too! They were one of my family's standard Sunday dinners when I was a kid-- bought dry in a box from the grocery store, though, not homemade.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-26 09:46 am (UTC)
sfred: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sfred
Hurray for cheesemaking!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-26 10:18 am (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass
Congratulations on your cheese!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-26 10:40 am (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
I love Spätzle, and it is high time I made some again.

(Worth noting - they freeze well. Sometimes I make extra and freeze them in suitable portions for eating with goulash).

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